Collaboration and influencing change 

We continue to influence change by developing ways to support collaboration with partners. Underpinning this work is a need to take a flexible and longer-term approach towards building alliances. New approaches to tackle poverty and disadvantage frequently involves acknowledging partners’ priorities, recognising the wider context, challenging some ways of working and creatively using the research evidence.

Current efforts to engage and influence are supported by traditional research outputs, such as an evaluation report on an NHS partnership response to child poverty , a briefing paper on in-work poverty , and research exploring the links between primary care and money advice services.

Other important ways of influencing include the timely use of social and digital media during Challenge Poverty Week, producing short films that give a powerful glimpse into people’s real lives, or a thought-provoking seminar that challenges our assumptions about the nature of work. Inviting guest bloggers to comment on the latest research can ensure that our engagement activities are genuinely collaborative and not a one-way street.

Membership of various strategic groups is another important way of engaging partners. We continue to be a member of Glasgow city’s Poverty Leadership Panel (PLP), a multi-agency group that supports efforts to tackle the high levels of poverty across the city. The PLP is supported by an action plan that prioritises areas of work that include involving people with experience of poverty, challenging stigma, responding to changes in the welfare system, reducing child poverty, and tackling problems with credit and debt. Recent joint support has involved a particular focus on efforts to tackle child poverty, exploring staff attitudes towards poverty and developing a framework to measure the plan’s progress.   

Other strategic group membership includes the established Financial Inclusion policy group that operates across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This group has strategic responsibility to support the direction of NHS efforts to tackle poverty and support financial inclusion across the health board area. We are also a member of the Scottish Government’s Welfare Reform and Health Impact Delivery Group (HIDG). The HIDG supports representatives from NHS boards to come together and develop a plan to reduce the impact of the welfare reforms on health and on the health services across Scotland.

We also involved in a more indirect approach to creating novel alliances with the aim of gathering evidence and influencing change.  With around 1 in 3 children living in poverty in Glasgow, the highest rate of any Scottish local authority, we to work alongside education, health and social care and third sector partners to support the Cost of the School Day initiative.  This ongoing initiative identified important costs barriers facing school pupils from low income families, as well as potential solutions, and was a catalyst for the development of a ‘sister’ project, the Cost of the School Holidays project.   

For more on our collaborative work, please contact James Egan.